13/04/2015 04:59 BST | Updated 12/06/2015 06:59 BST

Introducing 'Beyond The Ballot'


Dealing with mental health issues is one of the most pressing crises facing modern Britain, yet 76% of the population say they don't even know the relevant policies of the parties standing for government.

A staggering 84% of people don't know the details of internet censorship and digital security policy, and according to a HuffPost UK/Survation poll 69% of people said they don't know the details of housing policies from any of the political parties participating in this year's general election.

Today Huffington Post UK launches Beyond The Ballot, an original series of articles, blogs and videos which casts light on these three urgent issues facing Britons.

There are still 25 days to go until Britain goes to the polls. For most of us living outside the Westminster bubble, that equates to 25 more days of adversary, negative campaigning, cheap personal jibes and British politicians being placed in the naughty corner by vast swathes of the population. A search for genuine political solutions to feed on will leave voters famished.

With Beyond The Ballot, HuffPost UK wants to spark a national conversation on the three urgent issues which have largely failed to make a pinprick in the Westminster bubble - the failure to deal compassionately with mental illness, the silent millions stuck in the extortionate rental market, and the cack-handed efforts to regulate and censor the internet.

Crucially, we're using our What's Working approach to look for solutions to these hard-to-tackle topics, to pin down politicians on concrete policies they think will solve these pressing problems. We are calling for an end to meaningless 'we need to do more' rhetoric.

In the lead up to 7 May, you'll hear from Tony Blair's former 'spin doctor' Alastair Campbell blogging on mental health and Sarah Wollaston MP who was affected by post-natal depression. Former head of the civil service Gus O'Donnell has spoken to us about his big ideas to tackle mental health and how politics can deliver real change.

London Mayor hopeful David Lammy MP talks about the housing and renting crisis facing many of young Britons, plus there are heartbreaking personal stories from those impacted by the housing situation.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has written an outspoken blog on digital literacy and internet censorship. Plus David Davis launches a remarkable attack on senior Conservative Party colleagues over internet freedom, privacy and surveillance.

All three of the Beyond The Ballot focus areas are brought to life with round table video discussions with leading voices in each field.

Last week, when little Lucy Howarth's head dropped as David Cameron tried to coax a photo opportunity out of her, it seemed like she spoke for a nation, even at the age of six. Beyond The Ballot wants to lift that head back up and get people talking about solutions for society's biggest problems.

And we want you to be a central part of these discussions. That's what HuffPost UK is all about - sparking real, lasting and solution-based conversations about issues that impact our lives.

This election is your election so be part of the change and join in by blogging for The Huffington Post UK on these three urgent issues or tweet with the hashtag #BeyondTheBallot to tell us in 140 characters what issues you think aren't getting enough attention from the political parties.